Research Analysts Set Expectations for BCE Inc.’s Q1 2018 Earnings (BCE)

BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) – Equities researchers at Desjardins issued their Q1 2018 earnings per share estimates for BCE in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. Desjardins analyst M. Yaghi forecasts that the utilities provider will earn $0.70 per share for the quarter. Desjardins has a “Hold” rating on the stock. Desjardins also issued estimates for BCE’s Q2 2018 earnings at $0.74 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $0.71 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $0.59 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $2.86 EPS.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.60 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.01. BCE had a return on equity of 19.94% and a net margin of 12.25%. The business had revenue of $5.96 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.96 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.76 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis.

Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on BCE. Zacks Investment Research cut BCE from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Canaccord Genuity restated a “hold” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on shares of BCE in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. National Bank Financial upgraded BCE from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on BCE from $60.00 to $62.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Finally, Bank of America initiated coverage on BCE in a research note on Tuesday, November 21st. They set a “buy” rating and a $54.00 price objective on the stock. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. BCE has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $56.00.

BCE (BCE) opened at $44.39 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18, a quick ratio of 0.47 and a current ratio of 0.51. BCE has a 52 week low of $42.44 and a 52 week high of $49.06. The firm has a market capitalization of $39,970.40, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.50, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.58 and a beta of 0.29.

BCE announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, February 8th that allows the company to buyback $175.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the utilities provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, April 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a dividend of $0.601 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. This is a positive change from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.42%. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 95.83%.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can increased its position in shares of BCE by 5.2% during the 3rd quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 8,169,005 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $381,970,000 after purchasing an additional 405,067 shares during the last quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. increased its position in shares of BCE by 39.4% during the 4th quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 6,260,116 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $251,237,000 after purchasing an additional 1,768,100 shares during the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC increased its position in shares of BCE by 24.8% during the 4th quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 3,471,341 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $166,662,000 after purchasing an additional 689,362 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in shares of BCE by 1.4% during the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 3,170,049 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $148,454,000 after purchasing an additional 44,251 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mawer Investment Management Ltd. increased its position in shares of BCE by 3.4% during the 3rd quarter. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. now owns 2,553,196 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $119,690,000 after purchasing an additional 82,762 shares during the last quarter. 44.62% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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BCE Company Profile

BCE Inc is a communications company. The Company’s segments include Bell Wireless, Bell Wireline and Bell Media. Its Bell Wireless segment provides wireless voice and data communications products and services to its residential, small and medium-sized business and large enterprise customers across Canada.

Earnings History and Estimates for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

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